For some, Halloween is the happiest day of the year. Homes are decorated with lights, ghosts, and ghouls. Kids run door to door in spooky costumes collecting candy from neighbors. This tradition is an excellent way for kids to meet neighbors and create a sense of community. However, if not careful, it is one of the most dangerous times of year for children. Children are more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other holiday. For that reason, we put together a few tips to keep your children safe this Halloween.
Schneider & Palcsik's Top Ten Tips for an Injury-Free Halloween
1) Check all candy before eating. Checking candy is a common Halloween tip, but one worth repeating. Check all of your child’s candy before consuming. Discard any candy that looks suspicious- it just isn’t worth getting sick over a small bar of chocolate and nougat.
2) Make sure your property is safe for trick-or-treaters. If you love decorating your front porch or doorway for Halloween, make sure any cords are covered or are placed out of the way, ensure handrails are secure and that your steps are not a hazard to pedestrians.
3) Do not let your child walk between parked cars. It is common for some parents to follow their child’s trick or treating route in their car. As parents watch their children, they may not be as aware of other kids who are trick-or-treating. Children who do not use crossing areas such as crosswalk are at risk of being hit by a car. If you are following your child by vehicle- pay attention to your surroundings and ensure that your child uses the crosswalk to move from street to street.
4) Watch for distracted driving. Due to high pedestrian traffic on Halloween, it is necessary to be more alert to distracted driving. Halloween is a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the “Stop, Look, Wave” method when crossing the street. Don’t begin to cross until the oncoming car has completely stopped, and you are looking at the driver, they are looking at you, and wave to acknowledge that both of you see each other.
5) Ensure you and your child are visible. Think about traditional Halloween costumes: Vampire, ghoul, a creature of the night- they are often black or dark colored outfits. With the help of a glowstick, glow in the dark candy pale, or flashlight- you will need to find a way that you are visible to other people out trick-or-treating.
6) Create a map with your kids or discuss the route you plan to take before going trick-or-treating. If you get separated for whatever reason, you have a safe location to meet. It also gives your child an opportunity to plan the route. Creating a route together will reduce the chances that they’re not darting this way and that way to get to a specific house by the end of the night.
7) Do not enter anyone’s home without an adult. I know that most kids get very excited at the opportunity to walk through a “haunted house.” Most homeowners don’t offer a haunted house experience, but some people still do. Make sure you enter as a group and exit as a group. Stay on the designated path of the haunted house.
8) Light the path for pedestrians. Not only is it necessary to keep chords out of the way to prevent someone from tripping. You should also clearly outline the path you want trick-or-treaters to take. If your property is too dark, it will be hard for people to traverse your yard or sidewalk without proper lighting safely.
9) Make sure your child’s costume is distinguishable. Goodness knows you’re going to see fifty mutant ninja turtles tonight. So, you make sure that if your child walks up to a door with a group of other children, that you’re not grabbing the wrong child when the group leaves the house.
10)Have fun. By following these essential tips, you can avoid many of the common causes of injury on Halloween.